“I could never have imagined that, 16 years after this photograph was taken, I would be talking about Austin’s life in the past tense. My beautiful boy, filled with promise and hope, died from an accidental drug overdose when he was 20 years old. Now, all I have are fading memories and shattered dreams. Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is stealing America’s youth and is our country’s #1 social and health issue. After Austin’s death I left my career to devote my life to help bring an end to this horrific crisis.” – Jim Hood
Addiction is an insidious, “hidden” public health crisis, directly impacting over 45 million Americans. In truth, everyone knows someone who is or was afflicted by addiction. Yet, unlike every other major health issue in America, there is no comprehensive, well-funded national organization that exists to address the addiction crisis.
Facing Addiction was “born” on October 4, 2015, with a historic concert and rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., when an unprecedented group of entertainers, politicians, advocates, and “everyday Americans” came together to tell the country that we must unify our voices to turn the tide against addiction.
Why did we do this? Because addiction now impacts one in three households in America, claims a life every four minutes, costs our country $442 billion each year, and is stealing a generation of our youth. Since our launch event, we have worked relentlessly to build a national movement capable of deploying effective programs and comprehensive solutions to turn the tide on this public health crisis.
In November 2016 the U.S. Surgeon General issued the seminal report, Facing Addiction in America, which irrefutably reaffirmed addiction as an illness. As with other illnesses, we can dramatically impact the addiction crisis through education and prevention efforts, earlier intervention, more and better treatment, longer-term recovery care, far more research, and advocating for policies and funding that will help support this effort.
There is hope. We are working with the best people and existing resources in the field to implement the first-ever comprehensive strategic plan to finally address this issue. Together, we can effect change that will spare families from the grip addiction has on their loved ones. We can mobilize advocates with the proper tools and resources needed to shift their communities into a long-term, public health response. We can build empathy and compassion for this issue broadly in society. We have made extraordinary progress in a short time and are already seeing significant impact from our work, thanks to people like you. This goes beyond passion for us. This is our purpose.
There is so much more that we need to do to scale our strategic plan to meet the size of the current problem. Every moment counts and is the difference between life and death for those who are suffering. We need millions of people to join this movement and support our work.
It will take time and persistence. We humbly ask for your continued support, and that you stick with us for the long haul. Together, we can and will succeed.
Facing Addiction CEO and Austin’s Dad